Ofcom proposes rules for product placement on TV

MUMBAI: UK media watchdog Ofcom has published proposed new rules to allow product placement on TV. It is also proposing to liberalise the rules on paid-for references to brands and products in radio programmes. 
To date, Ofcom‘s Broadcasting Code has prohibited product placement. This prohibition was based on the requirements of European legislation. Changes to EU law, and resulting amendments to UK legislation, now allow for the placing of references to products, services or trade marks in television programmes in return for payment.

As a result of these changes, Ofcom intends to amend the Code to remove the prohibition on product placement. This consultation, therefore, sets out proposed new rules reflecting the new UK legislation that enables product placement in television programming. 
The introduction of product placement impacts on the regulation of other types of commercial references during television programming, such as sponsorship. Ofocm is also proposing revisions to those rules that it considers are impacted by product placement.

Scope of product placement rules: Under the Communications Act 2003, product placement is defined as being "for a commercial purpose". Ofcom is proposing to apply the rules to all instances of paid-for placement, regardless of whether the placement is intended to serve a commercial purpose.

Single dramas are not specifically referred to in the list of programme genres in which product placement is permitted. Ofcom is proposing to clarify that such programmes fall within the definition of films and may, therefore, contain product placement. 
News: The Act does not explicitly prohibit product placement in news but the Government has made it clear in its statement that news does not fall within the programme genres in which product placement is permitted.

Ofcom is proposing a rule to clarify that product placement is prohibited in news programmes.

Thematic placement: Ofcom is proposing to clarify that thematic placement - that is the creation of scripts/storylines as vehicles for the purpose of featuring the aims, objectives, beliefs or interests of a third party funder - is prohibited.

Specialist factual programmes: Ofcom is seeking views on whether it should prohibit product placement in specialist factual programmes (e.g. purely factual programmes covering educational, science, medical or arts subjects, or those that are investigative in nature).

Prohibited restricted products/services: in addition to those products, services and trade marks that are prohibited under the Act from being included in programmes as a result of product placement arrangements, Ofcom proposes to prohibit the paid-for placement within programmes of any product, service or trade mark that cannot be advertised on television.

Signalling of product placement: The Act includes a signalling requirement for product placement.

Ofcom says, "We are proposing that audiences are made aware of instances of product placement by means of a universal neutral logo, and a universal audio signal (to ensure that both visually and hearing impaired audience members are made aware when a programme contains product placement).

"Additionally, we are proposing that broadcasters make available to the audience a list (in a programme‘s end credits or on the broadcaster‘s website) of products, services or trade marks that have been placed in a programme. We also make a range of proposals in relation to raising audiences‘ awareness of the product placement signals and what they mean."

Sponsorship : The current rules that apply to television sponsorship are based on the principle that paid-for commercial references are kept separate from editorial. The introduction of product placement changes this position. Ofcom is consulting on proposed revisions to those sponsorship rules that are underpinned by the separation principle.

Sponsor references within sponsored programmes: It is proposing to remove the rules that prevent sponsorship arrangements resulting in references to the sponsor within a sponsored programme.

Ofcom also intends to clarify that where a reference to the sponsor‘s products, services or trade mark are included in a programme, this will be treated as product placement and must, therefore, comply with the relevant rules.

Identifying sponsorship arrangements: Ofcom is proposing revisions on how sponsorship arrangements are announced to ensure that audience members are made appropriately aware when they are viewing commercial messages, and can distinguish between different types of commercial arrangements, such as sponsorship and product placement.

Sponsorship credits during programmes: Ofcom is proposing to amend the rules on sponsorship credits to allow credits to be broadcast during programmes. However, to ensure that such credits do not conflict with the product placement rules and are not unacceptably intrusive, it is proposing a number of restrictions on the content and scheduling of credits shown during programmes.

Latest Reads
Amagi partners with BARC India to offer monitoring of geo-targeted TV ad-campaigns

Amagi Media Labs has entered into a partnership agreement with India’s apex television viewership monitoring body BARC India to help advertisers monitor geo-targeted ad-campaigns of brands across TV channels.

MAM Media and Advertising AD Agencies
iProspect conceptualises unique digital video for ICICI two-wheeler insurance

iProspect India has conceptualized and executed a unique digital video for ICICI Lombard General Insurance in their latest campaign on two-wheeler insurance.

MAM Media and Advertising AD Agencies
eBay engages consumer with live game on FB

MUMBAI: Festive season is a busy time for Indian brands, especially the e-commerce players given the shopping spree the nation witnessed around the time. Thus it becomes important to brainstorm on new and unique ways to get the consumer’s attention; something different from the unbelievable...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Culture Machine & Quaker Oats aim to feed kids

As the festive mood gathers spirit in the country, Culture Machine’s digital channel Being Indian, in collaboration with Quaker Oats, have released a new campaign. Titled "Ek Muthi Sonu ke Naam", the video urges people to pause and spare a thought to the millions of children who go hungry.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
BTVi unveils new brand positioning

BTVi has unveiled its new positioning, #OpinionsThatCount, aimed at impacting the opinions of the influencers. With this, BTVi will be the voice and choice of the influential. An integrated campaign will be launched primarily catering to influencers, key decision makers and opinion makers.

MAM Media and Advertising People
Cornitos unveils 'Crispy' mascot

Cornitos, the flagship brand of Greendots Health food Ltd, rolled out its new brand campaign announcing the launch of its mascot. With its inception in 2009, it is for the first time that the brand has given a face to its much-loved Nachos category.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Barbie's 'Power Of Play': Mattel, BBDO remind parents

MUMBAI: Mattel Asia has launched a new video for its Barbie® brand as part of its broader initiative to empower girls. Mattel Asia, takes on the widely held belief in Asia that imaginative play is not important to a child’s development, with the release of, “The Power of Play with Barbie,” a part...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Zee Mundo hires Steinbranding

MUMBAI: Steinbranding, the international design agency with headquarters in Buenos Aires, responsible for the image of more than 50 channels worldwide, was chosen by the major Indian media group, Zee Entertainment Enterprises to create the brand, naming and on-air & off-air branding for Zee...

MAM Marketing Brands
Exquisite partners with Warner Bros. consumer products

Exquisite, an innovative and experienced player in the EMEA market, has teamed up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA (WBCP EMEA), on behalf of DC Entertainment, to create the first retail loyalty programmes featuring DC Super Heroes.

MAM Marketing Brands

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories